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Preview: Borussia Monchengladbach vs. Arminia Bielefeld - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Bundesliga clash between Borussia Monchengladbach and Arminia Bielefeld, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Borussia Monchengladbach take on Arminia Bielefeld in the Bundesliga on Sunday, with the visitors looking to move further away from the relegation zone after an impressive four-match unbeaten run.

Gladbach, meanwhile, currently occupy seventh place, which could be the position which qualifies for next season's inaugural UEFA Europa Conference League.


Match preview

Borussia Monchengladbach manager Marco Rose pictured on February 20, 2021© Reuters

Indeed, Gladbach's hopes of qualifying for the Europa League received a major dent after throwing away a two-goal lead against Hoffenheim on Wednesday to lose 3-2.

Marcus Thuram was in excellent form once again, squaring the ball for Alassane Plea's deflected effort, which left Oliver Baumann wrong-footed.

Thuram subsequently displayed dazzling feet to take a Hoffenheim defender out of the game and lay the ball on a plate for Valentino Lazaro, who duly obliged to double Gladbach's lead at the half-time interval.

However, Hoffenheim had looked threatening and could consider themselves unfortunate to be two goals behind, with Ihlas Bebou missing their best chance by striking the outside of the post.

Andrej Kramaric pulled a goal back three minutes after the break, with Bebou and the Croatian completing a magnificent turnaround after two pinpoint crosses from Pavel Kaderabek down the right flank.

Marco Rose made three quick changes in an attempt to salvage at least a point, but Die Fohlen could not pick themselves up off the canvas as they missed the opportunity to move one point behind sixth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Pride, then, is really all that is left to play for in Rose's final four games at the club ahead of his move to Borussia Dortmund in the summer.

Arminia Bielefeld's Manuel Prietl celebrates their first goal against Bayern Munich in October 2020© Reuters

Arminia Bielefeld, on the other hand, still have plenty to play for despite Tuesday's 1-0 win over Schalke 04 moving them four points away from the bottom three.

There can be little doubt that Frank Kramer has had a hugely positive impact on the club's results since replacing Uwe Neuhaus in early March, with the 48-year-old taking an impressive 12 points from his eight games in charge so far.

The midweek win against Schalke, which confirmed Die Konigsblauen's inevitable relegation, was Arminia's third successive clean sheet, with Kramer's work on tightening the defence demonstrably paying dividends in terms of increasing their likelihood of survival.

For the second time this season, Fabian Klos proved the matchwinner against Schalke after his thunderous effort from distance after 50 minutes proved enough to overcome
Dimitrios Grammozis's side.

Any doubt regarding the result was largely put to bed when Malick Thiaw was sent off with almost 20 minutes of normal time remaining, although Klos missing a late penalty did not help matters.

Kramer will be hoping that will be the last time Arminia face Schalke for at least a couple of seasons, with his side's four-point gap to 17th-placed FC Koln looking a healthy one in terms of avoiding automatic relegation.

Much could hinge on how Hertha Berlin, who have suffered a recent COVID-19 outbreak, fare when they finally play their games in hand, with one of those being against Arminia in two weeks' time.

Ultimately, though, having their fate in their own hands at this stage of the season is a proposition which everyone connected to Arminia would surely have taken at the start of the season.

Borussia Monchengladbach Bundesliga form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Borussia Monchengladbach form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

Arminia Bielefeld Bundesliga form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Florian Neuhaus in action for Borussia Monchengladbach on February 6, 2021© Reuters

Gladbach will be without midfielders Christoph Kramer and Lars Stindl due to muscle injuries, with Denis Zakaria expected to come back into the midfield alongside Florian Neuhaus.

Yann Sommer has served his two-match suspension after his dismissal against Hertha earlier in the month and will almost certainly replace Tobias Sippel in goal.

Torben Musel and Julio Villalba both remain out with injury.

Arminia, meanwhile, will travel without the suspended Cedric Brunner after the right-back picked up his fifth booking of the season against Schalke, with Nathan de Medina likely to replace him.

Otherwise, Kramer is likely to select an unchanged XI, especially with Sergio Cordova and Reinhold Yabo both still unavailable due to COVID-19.

However, the duo should return for Arminia's crunch relegation match against Hertha in two weeks' time.

Borussia Monchengladbach possible starting lineup:
Sommer; Lainer, Ginter, Elvedi, Bensebaini; Lazaro, Neuhaus, Zakaria, Hofmann; Plea, Thuram

Arminia Bielefeld possible starting lineup:
Ortega; De Medina, Pieper, Nilsson, Lucoqui; Okugawa, Prietl, Maier; Doan, Klos, Voglsammer


SM words green background

We say: Borussia Monchengladbach 1-1 Arminia Bielefeld

We can envisage Arminia's unbeaten run continuing at Gladbach, who have little to play for as Rose's era in charge comes to a dwindling end.

Kramer's side are proving very tough to beat at present, with a point potentially proving a welcome one ahead of their crucial clash against Hertha in two weeks' time.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


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How you voted: Borussia M'bach vs Arminia Bielefeld

Borussia Monchengladbach
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Draw
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Arminia Bielefeld
11.9%
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Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

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